Barclays Bank Aid for Church: Retired employee of Barclays Bank, Barbara Griffiths, recently organised a fundraising Chinese auction in aid of St Mary's Church, Risca, - raising £331.

This figure was matched pound-for-pound as part of the Barclays Community Investment Programme.

Jean King, Barclays community relations officer, said: "At Barclays we strive to strengthen local communities in which we live and work by supporting a range of causes from local schools to centres for older people.

"This is an outstanding example of Barclays staff fundraising with its local community to achieve something which we hope will make a real and lasting difference."

The Reverend John Blackburn, vicar of St Mary's expressed his thanks for the funding boost.

The money raised will be used to fit a new lighting system in the church.

This information was provided by Barbara Griffiths.

Band News: On Saturday, March 8, at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, Newbridge Band competed in the first section Welsh area qualifying regional finals of the national championships of Great Britain.

The band delivered a very competent and polished performance of Gilbert Vinters James Cook Circumnavigation to land first place in the section.

Musically speaking, music director Paul Holland took his musicians from Swansea to Australia and back again.

With ten bands competing in the section this was an excellent result. Newbridge gaining the top spot with 189 points and Beaumaris band second with 185 points.

In his summing up the adjudicator said the band's interpretation of the test piece was a near perfect performance.

This deserved win has provided the Newbridge Band with a route to Harrogate in September to defend its title from the 2007 the national championships.

Can You Help? Information is required by a group of people interested in the land upon which Waunfawr Park came into being.

Also, if anyone has photos of the park that can be loaned, please contact your Grassroots correspondent accordingly.

Royal British Legion: The Risca branch of the Legion has announced plans to travel to Edinburgh for the tattoo again this year.

The trip will run from August 5 to August 9, and the cost will be £299 per person, single supplement £55 extra.

A deposit of £50 per person must be paid as soon as possible to organiser Keith Sutcliffe (01633 613076).

Accommodation at Cairns Hotel, Bathgate, a few miles from Edinburgh with one night at the Marriott Hotel, Durham, on the return journey.

Anyone wishing to travel, Legion member or not, should contact the organiser mentioned above.

Memo Centenary Year: Newbridge Memo presents Celynen collieries institute centenary year with a series of events commencing on March 20 with clairvoyance evening with Sue Clements.

This will be followed on April 4 with Nick Watkins - comedian and Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band on April 12.

Then on April 25, Abercarn and Newbridge Rotary Club will hold its dance evening.

Further details and ticket prices can be obtained by ringing 01495 243252 from 10am until 3pm.

Please help the restoration fund by making a small monthly contribution if possible.

Cross Keys Community Group: Sue Logan has collected supporters contributions towards the Kosovo appeal and Tina plans to leave on March 12.

The community group sends many thanks for your generous donations and extends its very best wishes to Tina and her convoy for a safe journey.

Meanwhile, tea, coffee, toast and marmalade is served from 10.30am until 12pm, every Tuesday.

Do come along and have a chat, exchange ideas and have a laugh, followed by bingo sessions every Tuesday.

Doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start. Admission is £1 and raffle is £1. A warm welcome is extended to all.

Easter Services in the Parish of Risca: l Monday, March 17, 6pm, Evensong at St Mary's.

l Tuesday, March 18, 6pm, Evensong at St Mary's.

l Wednesday, March 19, 6pm, Evensong at St Mary's.

l Maundy Thursday, March 20, 7pm Holy Eucharist at St Catherine's.

l Good Friday, March 21, 10am Holy Communion with the reserved sacrament at St David's, Ty Sign, followed by hot cross buns.

l 2pm Good Friday devotion at St Mary's.

l Holy Saturday, March 22, 6pm ceremony, Easter light at St Mary's.

l Easter Day, March 23, 8am, Holy Eucharist at St Mary's.

l Easter Day, 10am,, Parish Eucharist St Catherine's, Cross Keys, followed by Easter breakfast.

Ty Isaf Baptist Church, Pontymister: Bethany, Moriah and Ty Isaf Baptist Churches of Risca will be holding special joint Holy Week services on Maundy Thursday, March 20, and Good Friday, March 21.

Both services will start at 7.15pm.

The guest speaker will be John Roberts of Leominster.

Mr Roberts was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire and has lived in Leominster for 56 years.

He is director of Day One Christian ministries and travels extensively throughout the UK.

He is a keen sports fan but his number one sport is cricket.

The churches also extend a warm welcome for anyone to join them at the Easter Sunday services at any of the churches: Bethany - Sunday services at 10.30am and 6pm, preacher - pastor Reverend Ian Waugh.

Moriah - Sunday Services at 11am and 6pm.

Easter Services: A communion service for Maundy Thursday will be held on March 20 at St David's Methodist Church, Ty Sign, from 7pm, conducted by Reverend Pam Simmonds.

Organisers say everyone is welcome to attend.

Hope Baptist Church, Cross Keys, will hold a Good Friday service on March 21, at 10.30am.

Then on Easter Sunday, March 23, there will be services conducted at 11am and 6pm by the pastor.

Cross Keys Silver Band: On Sunday, March 9, the Cross Keys Silver Band, competed in the Welsh Regional Finals of the National Championships of Great Britain.

As in recent years, the band had an early draw, playing second, and gave a performance which, although not without a few minor blemishes, gave the adjudicator David Horsfield, no doubts as to who to award the first place to from a strong line up of seven bands.

The Cross Keys Band will now go on to represent Wales at the fourth section national finals, which are being held once again at the Conference Centre, Harrogate on Sunday, September 28.

This is the third year in a row that the band has been invited to take up this honour, and it's the fifth time in the past ten years the band will have represented Wales at this event.

Our congratulations also go out to the following local bands who will be representing Wales at the national finals this year, and really shows where the strength of Welsh banding is at present: Tredegar Town, championship section; Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen Championship Section; Newbridge (Celynen), first section; Blaenavon Town, third section; Severn Tunnel, fourth section.

Also commiserations to the following local bands who narrowly missed out at representing Wales at the finals, by coming third in their respective sections: Markham and District, first section; Rogerstone, second section; Newport Borough, fourth section.

The Cross Keys Band will now be once more heavily engaged in fundraising to raise the £5,000 necessary to compete at this event, and once again will be looking to the generous support the band receives from the people of Cross Keys, Risca and the surrounding area.

The band will also be hoping local businesses will become involved in the fundraising effort.

Musical director, Kerry Bowden was full of praise for his bands efforts, and says the band will definitely pose a strong challenge for the title of fourth section champions in September.

The band also looks forward to promotion to the third section from January next year.